Trog! is a maze game from Acclaim that adds and removes parts to the golden formula invented by Pac-Man. Two people could play cooperatively through the game to fight off Trogs and compete for the most points. The basis for the game is simple: You are a young bipedal dinosaur endangered by the troglodytes.
You must gather eggs in various maze setups to move on to the next stage all while Trogs hunt you through the maze; if that weren't enough there are also various hazards that spawn throughout the mazes as well. No worries though, the Trogs are stupid and there are many power-ups to help you along the way such as pineapples that turn you into a T-Rex momentarily and allows you to eat Trogs for bonus points, red plants that would speed you up, a rib bone that would give you temporary invulnerablity from the Trogs and more.
If all else failed you could always punch the Trogs but you had to be quick because if the Trogs beat you to the punch they would eat you for dinner.
As you advance through the game the Trogs become more and more crafty. Trogs start to realize the potential of fire and its connection to you; they want to cook you. Later they use wheels against you for their mobility, and since the wheels are made of stone, they will crush you as well.
Even further into the game they will gain the ability to squash you under their feet via springs; yes that is correct, the troglodytes attach springs to their feet and jump around the maze posing a constant threat as you attempt to collect your eggs and make it to the next stage.
Variances in the stages ramped up slow at first then accelerate at about midway through the game. At first you are on a flat grid with no obstructions only running around collecting eggs and avoiding Trogs; there are some early powerups and maze hazards as well. Soon come obstructions around the levels making for more of a "maze" feeling. Soon portal technology is introduced, wheels are rolling around rampantly, and Trogs are jumping around the map like they're in Cirque Du Soleil! It is complete madness and is a lot of fun with a friend in the two-player mode.
It is unclear whether it was intentional or not but the progression of the difficulty and how the game visually interprets it (i.e. from Trogs with just clubs > to wheels > to springs) shows a paralell with the advancement of the Trogs themselves.
Trogs and Maze Hazards
Trogs start out as yellow and somewhat docile. Soon though you run into the red-bearded Trogs that are much more aggressive and dubious. They use their clubs to create holes in the maze. They work for and against them as many a Trog will haplessly walk over their own hole and fall to their demise.
Trogs soon advance further getting faster and more aggressive; they will try to corner you if you are not paying attention. They also start using more gadgets like the wheels and springs. As if all of this wasn't enough, there are also maze hazards to deal with.
One maze hazard that looks innocent enough at first turns out to be a snare. It is the blue spotted mushroom. This is one of many maze hazards, some others are:
- Fire: At first, fire can be your friend, but like in real life, if you let fire to its own accord, it will turn on you. In this case you don't have to worry about it spreading, but the flames will grow and when they do, they will turn you to ash if you touch them.
- Tar pit: Makes you an immobile target, or as the Trogs see it, free lunch.
- Holes: Simple enough, you fall in and die.
- Edge of level: If you approach the edge of the screen without averting you will fall over and die.
Points, Bonuses and Power-ups
Each egg would grant you points, points that would accumulate at the top of the screen. Killing Trogs also came with its own point bonuses and depending on how you did it you may gain more or less points. For example, if you eat a pineapple and morph into a T-Rex you would be able to eat Trogs. This would grant you 10,000 points. However, the Trog eating chained so for each subsequent Trog you ate you would be granted more and more points.
Some of the other power-ups were:
- Red plant: Granted increased speed. Could chain up to 3 times for increased speed.
- Rib bone: Granted temporary invulnerability. Actually, it just made the Trogs ignore you momentarily.
- Fire: Before the fire reaches its second stage, it can be picked up, allowing you to shoot fireballs at the Trogs.
- Ice Block: Running over the ice block would freeze all enemies on stage and make them all a 1-punch kill while still frozen.
Points were also awarded for every stage you cleared: 25,000 big ones for each stage completed. At various points in the game a time-warp would appear on the screen for a limited period of time as well. Players that were fast enough to get to the time-warp could skip stages as well as nab everyone playing 300,000 bonus points. Points served 3 purposes in Trog! They were the factor that gave you bragging rights if you were playing with a friend, they were a goal to beat after making it to the scoreboard, and bonus lives were awarded at different point intervals as well; you were also granted 1 continue.
Throughout the game extra points could be earned in various bonus stages. In one such stage you are a T-Rex the entire time and must gobble up as many Trogs as you can before the timer expires (lucky you there are red plants scattered throughout to get to the Trogs faster)! In another you must collect as many gems before the timer expires.